Sourdough donuts

Sourdough donuts: Chef in disguise

I rarely make donuts at home. You need a REALLY good recipe, one that gives you donuts that make you forget about the calories, at least long enough to have a couple of donuts! Up until recently I didn’t have a recipe that fit that description. That changed when I cam across the recipe I am sharing today.

I was looking for recipes to use up the discard starter that results from feeding Harry. ( We call our sourdough starter Harry because when we cultured it from scratch a couple of months ago, my daughter was reading  the first book of the Harry potter series and she decided to name the starter Harry) when I came across a recipe for sourdough donuts.

I have used my sourdough starter to make bread, pancakes, crepes, brownies, crackers,cinnamon rolls and every single time the results were amazing. Using a sourdough starter adds a certain depth to recipes, a layer of flavor that is not necessarily sour. At times you can’t detect any tang but still the addition of the sourdough starter improves the texture and flavor so much that now even my kids say that any recipe gets extra points if it contains Harry.

mini sourdough donuts and milk

Today’s recipe is no exception.With both yeast from the sourdough starter and baking powder, these donuts are sort of middle ground between cake doughnuts and yeast ones. They are the best of both worlds if you will. So no matter what doughnut camp you’re in, give these a try. I think you will love them!

These donuts are light,airy and fluffy with the slightest crunch on the crust. Top them with some cinnamon sugar and stopping at one will really test your self control.

I divided the dough in half, I made one half on the spot and stored the other half in the fridge for a couple of days. The donuts made on the first day and those made from the stored dough were equally delicious. You can make the dough the night before and simply take these out in the morning and make a few to surprise your husband or kids on the weekend.

sourdough donuts

Sourdough donuts

(Under the Highchair)

½ cup sourdough (you can make your own using this technique)
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 cups flour (I usually need 1/3- 1/2 cup more to make the dough managable )
1/2 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk

Prepare a pot or deep fryer for frying.

Line a tray with paper towels and set aside, you will use this for draining doughnuts.

Heat oil to 360 degrees.

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda

In a bowl mix the sourdough starter, oil, buttermilk and egg.

Add the sugar, cinnamon and salt to the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet ingredients.

Bring dough together gently with you hands. Sprinkle some flour onto a work surface and turn dough on to it. Knead it gently about 3 times to help bring the dough together.

donut dough

Roll out to a thickness of 2 centimeters and cut with a doughnut cutter or if you are like me, you can use a round cutter(I used my 1/2 and 1/4 cups) and a bottle cap

cutting donuts

Fry until golden brown. Test the first one for doneness by breaking it in two and checking if the middle is doughy.

donuts made with sourdough starter

Drain on paper town. Toss with vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar to coat or top with your favorite topping

sourdough donuts (2)

You may also like

Sourdough starter 101

mature starter

Sourdough brownies

Sourdough double chocolate brownies

Sourdough cinnamon rolls

Sourdough cinnamon rolls

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  1. I think the last time I fried my own doughnuts was almost 17 years ago!
    They’re not so common here in Switzerland but you definitely made me hungry for some…I didn’t think I could make them with sourdough, this will help a bit more with the digestion ;)
    Well done, they look so soft and yummy *_*

  2. Ah. The photo with the raw doughnuts being cut out reminds me of when my Mom would make homemade doughnuts. I am allergic to deep frying, so I can only dream of homemade doughnuts now.

  3. Fabulous – I so need to make these! And I love that you also cooked the “holes” :)

  4. These look AMAZING Sawsan!!! I adore donuts, but I’ve never made my own at home. They always seemed like way too much effort! I love the fact that your starter’s name is Harry. Mine used to be Glop, before I discarded him (he got a little bit moldy, not sure why but it was definitely sad). You’ve inspired me to reattempt sourdough, not just for bread but for your gorgeous sourdough donuts, cinnamon rolls and brownies! xx

  5. I have never made doughnuts either but your pictures are deeply tempting and you are right that is a good simple recipe, time to get my starter bubbling again.. my kefir culture has not taken well to the change from raw milk to pasteurised, now that i am not milking, so it is time for the sourdough to take over. Have a lovely day .. c

  6. I love homemade donuts but haven’t made them in such a long time. Sourdough donuts? Never ever thought about it! They look delicious.

  7. Hi Sawsan, They sure do look fab but oh so fattening :) I couldn’t possibly make them I would eat way too many.

  8. Gday Sawsan,
    Your donuts look very yum, true!
    It is only brekkie, but your photos make me want to enjoy one with my first cuppa too! :) YUM!
    Cheers! Joanne

  9. after the eid celebration its nice manu for me because i m very tired to meet in family and celebration of eid now rest time so its nice idea to make this donutss… I rarely make donuts at home own my hands… i need a really good recipe donuts are my favorite,,,

  10. Gosh, I haven’t made real donuts in ages (baked ones, yes, though good as they are, they’re not “real” donuts). This look terrific – love the idea of sourdough. I don’t think I’ve ever had sourdough donuts before – brilliant idea.

  11. I think I have to make these for a treat for the kids soon. They look too good to pass up. And I will have to tell Mr. N about your sourdough starter named Harry. He loved all of those books! :)

  12. We have a donut day in Poland and we treat it very seriously, we eat donuts for a whole day :D Yours look very tempting :)

  13. They are a lot of work, aren’t they? But I think when you have kids around it’s great to make this type of stuff. We actually have “kids” in the lab, sort of – and they would be thrilled if I made a batch of sourdough donuts… Maybe once our kitchen renovation finishes (it starts this week!) I can pull that… new stove, new life!

  14. Beautiful donuts (doughnuts) indeed, Sawsan. Even the donut holes look amazing.

  15. Not sure why but I think the ‘holes’ taste the best. I have been toying with the idea of starting a sourdough ‘mother; for a while. looks like this may be the recipe to start with!

  16. These look fantastic! I’ve had that same recipe Pinned for a while – when I work up the courage to make my next batch of doughnuts I’m making these :)

  17. thefoodieteen

     /  August 13, 2013

    Wow, Harry certainly performs! So light and fluffy! I just came across your blog & love it!


  18. I never made doughnuts, yours look temptingly delicious. Even better that the dough can be stored for a few days in the fridge, very convenient.

  19. Grrrrr, I wrote a big long comment and then I got an error: “Sorry, that comment cannot be posted”, so I’ll suffice to say that these look wonderful Sawsan, and I’m very much in awe of your sourdough adventures. Luckily ours is still alive – hooray :)

  20. I love doughnuts but I’ve never made them! Thank you for the detail in this post. I love how you made little balls out of the holes! xx

  21. Great minds think alike and your donuts are just gorgeous. What calories?!?! My youngest son begged me to make donuts with him just the other day. A bit of work but he had so much fun. I think personally he like the eating part the best and you have to have a cold glass of milk to wash them down, of course! I love your recipe for the sourdough starter and will have to give your recipe a try next time. Take care, BAM

  22. simply truly and utterly fabulous!

  23. oh my oh my just what i want to eat right NOW! I wish it was right infront of me. looks very delicious! Nice one! Good presentation!

  24. Anonymous

     /  March 3, 2014

    Sawsan,they look so yoummy.Please could you tell me for how long i can store them? Are they still fresh the next day?

  25. Thank you for this recipe. I made them today and they were so yummy. I actually made the dough yesterday and put it in the fridge overnight. It worked great. I doubled the recipe and we have plenty of doughnuts now for tomorrow morning, if they last that long. We have a lot of people in our family, we double everything.

    Next time I will follow your directions and roll them thinner, I was surprised at how much they expanded, but they were still yummy.

    Thanks again.


  26. As a big sourdough fan I cannot wait to try this recipe!

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